Day 300 - Logical Fallacies Exercise — The God Question - Answers to Fallacies
It is more rational to believe in God than to believe there is no God. In fact, belief in God is much more rational than atheism. The resting place of the mind, its natural equilibrium, as it were, is belief.
This is, in truth, a statement of the obvious. - Non sequitur — the argument he’s making doesn’t follow; he makes no justification as to why one is more rational than the other, or why belief is a ‘natural equilibrium’ or even defends it as obvious (nor throughout the rest of the piece, even if you're patient enough to look for it!)
In subscribing to atheism they are in radical opposition to the vast majority of people on the planet today, and the overwhelming majority of people who have ever lived in history. There’s our first clue. — argumentum ad populum — appeals to the masses. Does might make right? Why must atheism be ‘radical opposition’? Tends towards straw man in that regard.
I have faith that I am the son of my parents. I have no real empirical evidence for it. It makes the most sense as an explanation of my life, it is the proposition that best fits with everything I know. But the main reason I believe it is faith, my regular, normal faith in my parents. So this is a faith-based belief, entirely rational, confirmed by experience, but certainly not rationally proven. — false analogy or false equivalence. Trust, confidence and being able to test the relationship — such one you have with your family, even if you aren’t asking them for a genetic test (or, as claimed later in the piece, being able to keep your car in good working order!) is not the same as religious faith which involves doctrines, a body of dogma and more often than not a supportive community of believers in the same religion who engage in worship.
In short: I don’t need a church, a bible and a holy ceremony to help keep me convinced that my car is working. I need rational evidence of my vehicle's reliability, like a periodical vehicle safety and roadworthy analysis, rather than just rosary beads on the dashboard mirror.
Because the high points in our elite and popular culture have been colonised by a militant and intolerant atheism, our young people have been denied the fruits of thousands of years of intellectual effort on matters of faith and belief by the best minds humanity has produced. This is wickedly unfair to children. — straw man. Attacking atheism as being against such things as ‘intellectual efforts’ (which may not be necessarily religious, let alone Christian!) and then saying it’s about the children is a particularly low blow.
First, Thomas suggested that motion had to start somewhere, that there had to be an unmoved mover. — special pleading.
Second, the chain of cause and effect is so long, but it too had to start somewhere; there had to be an uncaused cause. — fallacy of passing the buck.
Third, contingent beings — that is, beings who rely on some antecedent for their existence — must inevitably proceed from a being who relies on nothing for their existence, a necessary being. — circular reasoning.
Fourth, there is so much goodness in the world, it must correspond to or proceed from a self-sufficient goodness. — Cherry picking. Why not: “There is so much evil in the world too, it must correspond to or proceed from a self-sufficient evil being… that is made from chocolate sultanas”.
And fifth, the non-conscious agents in the world behave so purposefully that they imply an intelligent universal principle. — Fallacy of composition.
If the rational power of the human mind is so feeble that for countless millennia it could believe in God, when this belief is a delusion for which allegedly there is no evidence at all, how can we now accept that this same mind has miraculously developed a new capability to get to the truth and to understand evolutionary theory? If the mind is shaped by evolutionary theory to irrational ends throughout history it might just as well be shaped to irrational ends when it embraces evolutionary theory. This is not what I believe but it is an inescapable implication of the Dawkins style of atheism. —Straw man fallacy again. Why must it be necessarily about religion? Also, who says we aren’t irrational? We are just 'monkeys in shoes' after all. Maybe we have to work harder to overcome biases and be more vigilant. The part about Dawkins is just another cheap shot straw man.
That we now know so much more about the history of our planet, of our solar system, of our galaxy, leads some to the mistaken conclusion that God is superseded as an explanation.
I think rather that what all this knowledge really indicates is the majesty and generosity of God. That the physical universe we know is apparently 14 billion years old tells us nothing about who created it or why. — argument from ignorance. Just because he doesn’t know (or chooses not to) doesn’t mean it’s ‘God’. Let alone a Christian one. It might be evil chocolate sultanas after all!
There are countless clues of God throughout our world and within humanity itself. There is the strange phenomenon of joy, the even stranger delight of humour, the inescapable intimation of meaning in beauty and music. There is the mystery of love, along with the equal mystery of our consciousness and our self-awareness. It’s a lot of clues to ignore. — argument from beauty. No matter how often you cherry-pick the beautiful, there’s still worms that eat living tissue, horrific wars, cholera, and chocolate sultanas, we're sorry to say.